Athena T. Samaras

Athena Samaras is a project coordinator and health policy researcher for the Research on Adverse Drug Events And Reports (RADAR) project, led by Dr. Charles L. Bennett of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Her research has largely focused on the adverse reactions associated with drugs used to treat anemia, known as erythropoiesis stimulating agents. She has studied the incidence of blood clots and increased mortality associated with these agents among cancer patients, contributing to a mounting body of evidence that these drugs are not safe for cancer patients seeking cure. Ms. Samaras studied biology and psychology at Swarthmore College and plans to pursue a career that combines medicine, public health and policy-related work.

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Many children in the 1960's, like the kindergartner pictured above, were born with phocomelia as a side effect of the drug thalidomide, resulting in the shortening or absence of limbs. (Photo by Leonard McCombe//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)